In just six days, the new Health Insurance Marketplaces will open their virtual doors and the next phase of implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will begin. The Obama Administration, recognizing that the ACA holds particular relevance for the LGBT community, recently held a briefing at the White House for LGBT leaders across the US. I attended and represented the new Penn Medicine Program for LGBT Health.
Senior Advisor to the President Valerie Jarrett and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius gave these opening remarks to set the stage for the day:
A new National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper by Afendulis, Chernew, and Kessler says yes. If this working paper holds up to peer review, these findings will offer an important endorsement of the Medicare Advantage program. The paper attributes large and striking reductions in all hospitalizations (22%), hospitalizations for ambulatory sensitive conditions (18%), and mortality (15%) to Medicare Advantage as illustrated in the graph below.
The Supreme Court's ruling in June to uphold the Affordable Care Act has left states with a number of decisions to make. While coverage surrounding the Court's decision was focused on the individual mandate, that mandate was part of a broader plan to ensure that every state in the nation have an operational health insurance exchange, or marketplace, by January 2014.
In the next few months, states have some things to do:
A cornerstone of health care reform is the establishment of state-level insurance exchanges where individuals and small businesses can purchase health insurance in an online marketplace. This report reviews the experience of Massachusetts in developing a health insurance exchange and offers policymakers guidance on key features and likely consumer responses.
In this Issue Brief, Dr. Lemaire explores whether deaths from firearms explain some of these international and racial disparities in life expectancy. He uses actuarial techniques to calculate the “cost” of firearm deaths in the U.S., both in terms of reduced life expectancy and increased life insurance premiums.